Forum OpenACS Development: Re: 5.2: survey-library requires survey 5.1.4d2, survey is 5.0.1

Survey and “Complex Survey”. The survey in contrib is a useful package; I refer to it as “complex survey” vs “simple survey”. It allows branching and named variables. It is compatible with survey-reports. But should it replace the survey in the main CVS? Would an organization using .LRN or the current survey be happy if they upgraded and got all these new features or would they suddenly have software that is more complex then they need?

What is the long term vision? I am imagining that both survey packages will be eventually phased on in favor of a series of packages that will all depend on the assessment package but provide different interfaces. This is one of the reasons we are building extensions to survey (e.g. survey-library, survey-reports) as separate packages. We assume that someday we will want to refactor them to use assessment.

Survey-library: The user story behind survey-library is that expert survey builders would create sample surveys and sections of surveys for use in program evaluation. Organizations could then go to the library and copy the sample closest to their needs, modify them, and distribute them. Unfortunately the site never made it to production, for reasons unrelated to this code. This is a cool idea but this package is definitely maturity level 0.

Survey-reports: I sometimes call this a “Mad Libs” generator. The admin creates a survey and a report that uses variables from the survey. Each user fills out the survey and then gets a customized report. It was developed for The Compass for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. We also developed some custom includes to do statistics to show students their results vs the rest of the class. You can see screenshots and learn more here:

We have integrated it with open office so that the user can download the report in rtf and edit it in word. PDF would also be an option. We have just used survey-reports on a second project to create a simple resume builder.